By Brady Henderson
Marcus Trufant’s career with the Seahawks isn’t over yet.
The 31-year-old cornerback agreed to a one-year deal with the Seahawks, the only franchise he’s ever played for. The team announced the move on Monday, just over a month after releasing Trufant and his hefty salary.
Trufant was scheduled to make $7.2 and $8.8 million in base salary in the final two years of his contract, untenable amounts for a player who projected as a backup behind Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
In a statement that accompanied the announcement of Trufant’s release last month, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said the team parted ways with Trufant when it did in order to give him “an opportunity to explore the full window of unrestricted free agency and the options that go along with it.”
Trufant had a free-agent visit with the Broncos last month, but decided to return to the team that made him the 11th overall pick in 2003. Trufant, who attended Wilson High School in Tacoma before starring at Washington State, has 21 interceptions in his nine-year career to rank fifth in franchise history. His 604 tackles rank 10th in franchise history.
Injuries have led to a decline in Trufant’s play since he signed a $50.2 million contract with the Seahawks after a Pro Bowl season in 2007. He began last season as a starter but was placed on injured reserve after four games with a back injury similar to the one that caused him to miss six games in 2009. While he played in all 16 games in 2010, he suffered a pair of concussions that season, including one that knocked him out of the Seahawks’ playoff loss to Chicago.
Trufant returns as the veteran in a young secondary that helped Seattle’s pass defense improve from 27th in 2010 to 11th last season. Browner made the Pro Bowl as an injury alternate in his first full NFL season. Sherman, a rookie, had four interceptions once he became a starter midway through the season.
Trufant could serve as the team’s nickel cornerback if Walter Thurmond begins the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times reports he will likely do. Thurmond, 24, is recovering from a broken leg he sustained in October. Roy Lewis, who filled that role in Thurmond’s absence last season, agreed to a one-year deal with the Seahawks last week.